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Our Approach To Running Injury Advice, and Our Recommended Practices

At Marathon Handbook, when it comes to giving advice about running injuries our editorial team does its best to analyze the full body of evidence to help make you a better runner.

We wanted to be fully transparent with our processes.

We understand the paramount importance of reliable and credible information when it comes to injury information, rehabilitation, and prevention.

In today’s digital age, the internet is flooded with a vast array of resources and voices, each claiming to be the definitive guide to managing injuries and achieving optimal athletic performance.

However, it’s critical to discern fact from fiction.

The Internet Can’t Replace A Professional Diagnosis: Our Disclaimer

While we pride ourselves on providing trustworthy guidance, it’s important to remember that our injury and rehab guides are intended for information purposes only, and not taken as medical advice.

They should never replace a physical diagnosis by a qualified medical professional. We are not a medical resource. The internet is a powerful tool for education and guidance, but it cannot replicate the expertise and nuanced evaluation a qualified healthcare practitioner can provide.

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Our Process Of Information Verification

Our commitment to providing you with accurate and evidence-based information starts with our verification process.

Our team of experts, composed of running coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, and personal trainers, is dedicated to scrutinizing the latest research from the most recognized and reputable sources.

We understand the importance and effect of adhering to a high standard of accuracy in the information we provide.

Here’s a brief overview of our verification process:

1. Expert Oversight

Our guides are authored and reviewed by individuals with extensive experience in their respective fields. Our team’s collective knowledge ensures that the information we present is both reliable and up-to-date.

2. Citing Reputable Sources

We source our information from peer-reviewed journals, renowned medical institutions, and reputable sports science organizations. This commitment to using credible sources guarantees that the information you receive is rooted in scientific evidence.

If a study from a reputable source lacks depth or contains irregularities, we will do our best to highlight it and discuss what it means.

Each citation will be evaluated based on authority, accuracy, time period, and acceptance by the industry.

Here are a few of the resources that we regularly use:

As well as many other reputable sources.

3. Regular Updates

The world of running and training is constantly evolving.

As new studies emerge, we read them and ensure that we regularly update our guides to reflect the most current research and best practices.

This ensures that our advice is in line with the latest industry standards.

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General Recommendations for Injury Management

In the event of an injury, some general principles should be followed, but remember that individual cases can vary greatly.

Here are some overarching recommendations to consider:

  1. Consult a Professional: If you’re unsure about the nature or severity of your injury, consult a qualified healthcare practitioner. They can provide a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
  2. Rest and Recovery: Rest is a key component of injury management in the early stages. It allows the body to heal and regenerate. However, the duration of rest will vary depending on the type and severity of the injury.
  3. Follow the PEACE & LOVE Protocol: The PEACE & LOVE RICE protocol can be effective for many injuries. However, it’s essential to use it appropriately based on your specific injury.
  4. Gradual Return to Activity: A gradual return to physical activity, under professional supervision, is typically recommended.

We’ll discuss these in more detail below.

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Philosophy of Dealing with Running Injuries

There are a number of ways to think about running injuries.

Over my years working with clients, I have developed certain beliefs which are always evolving. Here is how I think about injuries and how to deal with them. This is a general philosophy and won’t be applicable to each individual’s specific scenario.

1. Preventative Measures

Preventative measures encompass a range of activities and habits proven to minimize the risk of injury in running.

This predominantly includes a well-thought-out training plan that gradually increases running volume and intensity alongside a strength and conditioning program that incorporates the principles of progressive overload into your routine.

Other measures such as warming up, crosstraining, and maintaining good form are all important, too.

Prevention is the cornerstone of injury-free running.

As runners and humans, more broadly, we are often guilty of short-term bias, also known as “present bias.” This is the tendency for individuals to prioritize immediate rewards or concerns over long-term consequences or benefits.

We are all guilty, but… sometimes you don’t have time to warm up, or squatting at the gym is boring. Or, we have caught the running bug and just want to lace up our shoes and head out the door, even if our body hasn’t had time to adapt.

Sometimes, we have to stop, take stock, and take in the bigger picture.

By investing time and effort in these measures, we reduce the likelihood of painful injuries and long, frustrating periods of being unable to run. Proactive steps can result in improved performance, enjoyment, and longevity in running.

The motivation to prioritize injury prevention before an issue arises can be challenging. So we have to be clear about how clear the evidence is that these measures will have a positive impact on your running.

2. Scientifically-Backed Rehabilitation Strategies

Scientifically backed rehabilitation strategies often involve phased strength and conditioning programs alongside other components, such as mobility and stretching, plyometrics, and proprioception training. For the best results, you should do these with a professional.

These methods are proven to aid recovery and prevent future injuries.

These strategies work. And here’s a simplified look at why:

In the context of exercise, running, and everyday movement, our muscles and skeletal system are designed to withstand substantial loads.

The bones, joints, and muscles work in unison to provide support and mobility. This dynamic harmony is what allows us to run, lift, bend, and perform various physical daily tasks with relative ease.

When we experience an acute injury, this capacity to bear load is temporarily compromised.

In more severe cases, where load-bearing capacity is significantly reduced, the process of rehabilitation becomes even more critical.

Rehabilitation exercises are designed to systematically challenge the injured area without causing further harm.

As we gradually increase the load placed on the injured area whether through controlled movements, stretching, or resistance exercises, we stimulate the body to adapt and strengthen.

This adaptation is the body’s remarkable ability to regain its prior load-bearing capacity, even after severe injuries.

An active and consistent participation in rehab is key to ensuring a successful rehabilitation process.

3. Managing Pain Symptoms

Pain can be horrible, and pain management plays an important role in rehabilitation.

Sometimes, pain feels completely pointless, pain for the sake of pain, and other times, it is sending us an important message, like “don’t go for a run; it’s going to cause damage.”

Treating or numbing pain with treatments involving NSAIDs, massage, ice packs, etc, while necessary for immediate relief, should not overshadow the importance of addressing the underlying issues.

Focusing solely on pain relief without addressing the source can perpetuate the cycle of injury.

While it is important to address pain, the focus should shift toward understanding its root causes and implementing the preventative and rehabilitative measures discussed earlier.

As it stands, a lot of rehabilitation protocols often spend too much time focusing on treating pain symptoms rather than addressing underlying causes.

Summary

Our philosophy of injury prevention for running features a holistic approach that involves proactive measures, scientifically-backed rehabilitation, and a thoughtful approach to managing pain.

While the challenges of motivation and time may hinder our dedication to prevention and rehabilitation, recognizing the long-term benefits of these measures can reshape our perspective.

By prioritizing our body’s well-being and making a commitment to injury prevention, runners can enjoy the sport with reduced risks and prolonged running careers.

Our Top Resources for Injury Prevention

Prevention is often the best medicine. To help you proactively avoid injuries, we’ve compiled a list of our best practices and guides for injury prevention.

These resources cover areas such as warm-up routines, strength and flexibility exercises, and proper technique for various sports and activities.

To assist you in understanding and managing running-related injuries, we offer dedicated guides that cover common running injuries

In the world of sports and fitness, reliable information is paramount. Our commitment to verifying information from reputable sources, coupled with our team’s expertise, ensures that our injury and rehab guides are grounded in the latest scientific research and best practices.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to remember that online advice can never replace a professional diagnosis from a qualified healthcare practitioner. Injuries are unique, and their management should be tailored to individual needs.